Greg Roman: Penn State ‘a lifetime job’; Schiano in play?

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With seemingly every rumored candidate either very publicly dismissing speculation or privately denying interest in the Penn State job, one confirmed candidate is embracing the potential opportunity.

The agent for San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman acknowledged earlier this week that his client interviewed for the Nittany Lions vacancy “quite a while ago”, and reports have indicated the long-time NFL assistant is a finalist to become the permanent replacement for Joe Paterno.  If that were to come to fruition, Roman would jump at the opportunity.

“[A] a job like Penn State is a lifetime job. That’s a job if I were to become the head coach there, I’d wouldn’t leave there,” Roman said Tuesday according to CSNBayArea.com.

“That’s a very unique opportunity at Penn State, so that’s something I’d definitely consider strongly.”

With the 49ers preparing for a Jan. 14 playoff game, Roman also made sure to express a lot of love for his current place of employment. “I love where I’m at right now. I love the (49ers) organization here. I love how it’s structured. I love how we interact. I love how we solve problems,” Roman lovingly said.

Roman has been an assistant coach for 16 seasons, with 14 of those coming at the NFL level — the Carolina Panthers (1995-2001), Houston Texans (2002-05) and Baltimore Ravens (2006-07).  The only time he’s spent at the collegiate level was in 2009 and 2010, after which he left with Jim Harbaugh for the 49ers.

He played his college football at John Carroll University in Ohio after growing up in New Jersey.

In addition to Roman, the only coaches confirmed to have interviewed for the job are a trio of current Nittany Lions assistants — Tom Bradley, Jay Paterno and Larry Johnson Sr. — as well as Green Bay Packers quarterbacks coach Tom Clements.

And then there’s Greg Schiano.  The former PSU assistant and current Rutgers head coach has been connected to the opening since Paterno was fired exactly eight weeks ago today, but publicly denied any interest.   According to StateCollege.com, however, two private jets belonging to the university have made a total of four trips to New Jersey over the past week.

An agent with both playes and coaches as clients told the website that the current buzz among his peers is that Schiano is being targeted by Penn State.

“I’ve been hearing a lot of talk throughout the agent community that something is going on with Schiano,” said the agent. “His name keeps on popping up in conjunction with Penn State among people I know.”

And here comes a Schiano denial in three… two… one…

Arizona State, Mississippi State ink home-and-home

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Arizona State and Mississippi State on Tuesday announced a home-and-home series to be played in 2024-25. Arizona State will host the first game in Tempe on Sept. 7, 2024, and the clubs will meet in Starkville on Sept. 6, 2025.

The Sun Devils and Bulldogs have never met previously.

The Arizona State trip is not Mississippi State’s only upcoming trek from the Deep South to the Southwest. The Bulldogs also lined up a visit to Arizona in 2020 and Texas Tech in 2029. Mississippi State will open the 2024 season against Eastern Kentucky and visit Southern Miss the week after its Arizona State visit, on Sept. 14. The Bulldogs have no other games lined up in 2025 as of yet, according to FBSchedules.

Likewise, Mississippi State is not the Sun Devils’ lone upcoming SEC opponent. Arizona State has a home-and-home with LSU on the docket for 2026-28, per FBSchedules. The Mississippi State games complete both of the Sun Devils’ non-conference schedules for these respective seasons. Arizona State opens with Wyoming and visits Texas State in 2024, and hosts Northern Arizona and Texas State in 2025.

UCLA lands Texas Tech graduate transfer OL Justin Murphy

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Help is on the way for Chip Kelly‘s offensive line. One graduate transfer offensive lineman has the Bruins on his list, but another has already pulled the trigger for UCLA.

Texas Tech graduate transfer Justin Murphy on Tuesday committed to UCLA in a post on his Twitter account.

A native of Belton, Texas, Murphy signed with Texas Tech in 2014 and made four starts at right guard as a redshirt freshman. He again started four games at right guard in ’15 before moving out to tackle, where he started another four games. But after battling a series of knee injuries, Murphy announced in the middle of the 2016 season he had medically retired from the game.

After sitting out 2017, Murphy announced in March he planned to make a comeback.

UCLA remarkably started the same offensive linemen in all 13 games last season, but tackle Kolton Miller entered the NFL draft, guard Najoee Toran and center Scott Quessenberry graduated.

Toledo posts, then deletes, tweet offering to change mascot to Shrek

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There are plenty of annoying trends on Twitter, but perhaps the worst is the “I’ll do X if this gets retweeted X-thousand amount of times.” I blame Wendy’s.

But blanket policies are never a good way to go through life, and an exception was made on Tuesday when Toledo offered to change its mascot from a rocket to Shrek with 500,000 retweets.

Sadly, some dreams are simply too beautiful to live in this fallen world, and the tweet was outed to be a hoax. “We are definitely not changing the school mascot to Shrek,” Toledo media relations specialist Christine Billau told USA Today. “The tweet was meant to be fun, but it caused too much of a distraction.”

Meanwhile, Bowling Green gleefully hopped on the dog pile with both elbows pointed out.

UMass grad transfer lineman narrows choices to Auburn, UCLA, USC

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It’s not yet known to where Jack Driscoll will transfer, but the field has been significantly narrowed.

Earlier this offseason, Driscoll decided to transfer from UMass.  Tuesday, the offensive tackle confirmed to Rivals.com that he’s down to three schools as a potential landing spot — Auburn, UCLA and USC.

Neither football program will have to wait long for a decision as Driscoll expects to make an announcement Wednesday.  Driscoll had taken an official visit to all three of the campuses prior to whittling down his transfer to-do list.

“It will come down to one of those three schools,” the lineman told AuburnSports.com. “I feel like all three of the schools would be a good fit.”

Driscoll will graduate from UMass early next month, and will be eligible to play immediately in 2018 at whichever program he selects.  The upcoming season will be the first of two years of eligibility the 6-5, 294-pound lineman has remaining.

After starting eight games as a redshirt freshman in 2016, with most of those starts coming at left guard, he started all 12 games in 2017.  All of those starts this past season came at right tackle for the football-independent Minutemen. He was named to Phil Steele’s All-Independent first team while he earned second-team All-Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) honors for good measure.